Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Slime-Darter On The Lake

One of six "slime darts" that I caught from Lake Surprise.
When: Afternoon of Friday, March 18th, morning of Saturday the 19th and morning/afternoon of Sunday the 20th
Where: A couple of lakes in Union County
What: Exploring/Fishing with myself, then Lindsay, then Chris Martalus
Weather: Near 80 on Friday, much colder Saturday and Sunday. Breezy all days.
Moon: Full on Saturday night. Like really full. The perigee moon.

For the record, a "slime-dart" is a term used on message boards that references a chain pickerel, most likely because they're slimy and somewhat elongated......like a dart.

Chris Lido got a kick out of this and called me Slime-Darter on the Lake.

There you go.

When I stepped out of my door on my way to 4 work appointments last Friday, it was immediately apparent that I was going to get them done as fast as possible, go fishing for a couple hours, then do the rest of my work from home in the evening.

This had everything to do with the fact that the temperature was going to flirt with 80-degrees.

So, by 3:30pm, Stella and I found ourselves on the shore of Lake Nomahagen in Cranford. The sun was up, it was amazingly warm for March, but it was still pretty breezy. Despite 2 hours of throwing everything in my bag, I did not get a bite. As I was considering some new "strategery," I bumped into an over-zealous 12-year old named David who was all too happy to tell me where the fish were hiding.

As soon as I reached the spot, I had a couple bites, both from small bass. Shortly thereafter, I landed my first open-water bass of the year. It was also Stella's first fish and Stella's first bass.

Many more will follow, and did on Sunday.

On Saturday, Lindsay was willing to brave the bitter cold to see if I had properly trained the carp. Unfortunately, despite me throwing handfuls of corn in a small area everyday for three days prior, there were no carp to be found. After a short while, we deciced to head back to where I had caught the bass, if for nothing else then to get out of the wind.

Lindsay did some exploring and stumbled upon some great fishing spots back in the woods. We tried fishing all of them, but the bass must have felt the 30-degree drop in temperature and did not feel much like biting.

As a last resort, we started digging for worms (what a trooper), but the only thing that they fooled were a couple of sunnfish.

Sunday morning was pretty cold again (as evidenced by the ice I would later pick from the guides on my rod), but Martalus and I were fairly confident that we could pull a few slime-darts (pickerel) from Lake Surprise in the Watchung Reservation. Chris had been there last year about this time and had some success, which is why he knew to bring waders so we could have better access.

Despite the chilly morning, we caught a couple fish. The fishing improved as the day grew longer and warmer and with an hour left before we had planned to leave, we had each landed 4 pickerel and missed many more. By this time, the fishing had turned into a friendly competition and it was pretty tense (but not really) seeing who, if anyone, would catch the last fish.

In case you were wondering, it was me, and I added one more for good luck.

Catfish-6
Martalus-4

Game over.

Next Up: Weekend weather is looking pretty winter-like, but the spirit may move me to hit Round Valley with Nick or find some more slime darts. Gonna get outside with my sister on Sunday as well.

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